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Title: Instructional Time, Teacher Quality and Subject Specialisation as Determinants of Pupils' Achievement in Basic Science and Technology in Ogun State Primary Schools
Authors: Amusan, M. A.
Keywords: Basic Education
Achievement in Basic Science and Technology
Instructional time
Classroom interaction
Pedagogical skills
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Low achievement in the sciences at secondary schools over time has been a source of concern to Nigerians. Addressing this problem would demand building a good foundation in Basic Science and Technology (BST) right from primary schools. Researchers have reported that teacher factors do have effect on pupils' achievement in BST. However, some aspects of the quality, characteristics and classroom practices of the teacher that may influence their achievement have not been extensively studied. This study, therefore, constructed and tested a nine-variable model (school location, gender, subject specialisation, instructional time, content knowledge, pedagogical skills, attitude and classroom interaction) to provide a causal explanation of primary school pupils' achievement in BST. The study adopted a survey research design. The multistage sampling technique was used to obtain a representative sample of teachers and pupils across the 20 Local Government Areas of Ogun State. Schools were stratified into rural and urban. The proportionate stratified sampling technique was used to select 148 out of the 14, 751 BST teachers (49 males, 99 females). Also, 3, 052 pupils in the selected teachers' classrooms participated in this study. Six validated instruments were used: Teachers' Time Management Observational Scale (r=0.81); Pedagogical Skills Observational Scale (r=0.84); Teacher-Pupils Interaction Observation Scale (r=0.82); Teachers' Attitude to BST Scale (0.71); Teachers' BST Content Knowledge Test (r= 0.96) and Pupils' BST Achievement Test (r=0.92). Data were analysed using multiple regression and path analyses at p <0.05 level of significance. There was no significant mean difference (0.02) between the hypothesised and the reproduced correlation coefficients. Hence, the hypothesised and parsimonious models can be assumed to be the same in explaining factors that influenced BST achievement. Out of the eight variables, only four had direct causal influence: school location (0.09), teachers' pedagogical skills (0.10), attitude to BST (0.18) and classroom interaction (0.18). Six of the eight variables had indirect effect on BST achievement: school location, teacher's gender, subject specialisation, instructional time, content knowledge and pedagogical skills. However, only three of the six variables contributed significantly to the prediction of BST pupils' achievement; instructional time (0.20), content knowledge (0.05) and pedagogical skills (0.10). Teachers' instructional time and content knowledge had indirect influence only. Instructional time and pedagogical skills had the greatest standardised total effects (0.20) respectively on pupils' achievement in BST. The other variables with significant total influence were classroom interaction (0.18), attitude (0.18), school location (0.12) and content knowledge (0.05). School location, teachers' pedagogical skills, attitude to Basic Science and Technology and interaction with pupils had significant influence on achievement. Qualified teachers should be recruited and equitably distributed across schools irrespective of location to engender effective learning. Instructional time management should be emphasised in the pre-service science teacher curriculum. Pre-service teachers should be motivated to develop positive attitude towards the teaching of Basic Science and Technology. Educational stakeholders should also regularly organise science update courses for BST teachers so as to improve on their content knowledge.
Description: A Thesis Submitted to the Institute of Education in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan. Nigeria
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